Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Frank, A.B., Berdahl, J.D., Hanson, J.D., Liebig, M.A., Johnson, H.A., Krupinsky, J.M. 2003. Carbon and biomass partitioning in switchgrass. Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a suitable biofuel crop with carbon sequestration potential for the Northern Great Plains. Carbon and biomass partitioning in cultivars Dacotah and Sunburst was determined at two locations near Mandan, ND over 3 years. Aboveground biomass was 7771 kg/ha for Sunburst and 5620 kg/ha for Dacotah following heading in mid-July. For Sunburst and Dacotah, respectively, stems accounted for 56 and 60%, leaves 28 and 19%, and senesced plant parts 15 and 21% of aboveground biomass. Carbon partitioning among biomass components was similar. Total carbon in aboveground biomass, plant crown tissue, and roots was 1191 g C/m2/yr for Dacotah and 1095 g C/m2/yr for Sunburst. Carbon lost through soil respiration was 576 g C/m2/yr for Dacotah and 522 g C/m2/yr for Sunburst. Net carbon gain based on above- and below-ground biomass and soil respiratory loss was 615 g C/m2/yr for Dacotah and 573 g C/m2/yr for Sunburst, however measured soil organic carbon gain to 1.2 m was 660 g C/m2/yr for Dacotah and 710 g C/m2/yr for Sunburst. Soil carbon respiration losses were equal to 48% of total plant biomass carbon for both cultivars. Although this study was conducted for only 3 years, the results suggest switchgrass can efficiently sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide.